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28 October 2014

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Voices on the Railings
Voices on the Railings
The railings outside Great St Mary's Church
An unusual public debate about the Iraq crisis was launched in Cambridge on Saturday 8th March. Anyone can take part in the special debate by tying their own message to the railings of Great St Mary's Church in the city centre.
  see also  

War - a Cambridgehsire perspective

Cambridge - officially a city of peace

War with Iraq - have your say

Marching for peace

  internet links  

On the Railings

Stop the War Coalition

Cambridge City Council

Interfaith Network

Cambridge Campaign for Peace

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The idea behind 'Voices on the Railings' is to provide an open, impartial forum for discussion, and to foster public awareness of the international situation.

A message left on the railings
One person's message

By tying messages onto the railings, people can express their thoughts and concerns about the Iraq crisis.

There has been a fantastic response so far. On the first day over 100 messages were written by members of the public and there are now over 500 messages covering four sections of the railings of Great St Mary's.

City councillors have written labels, and Anne Campbell, MP for Cambridge, has given permission for her resignation statement to be added to the railings. Others simply stop and read, take photos, or discuss their views with passers-by.

quote'Voices on the Railings' is neither specifically pro- or anti-war, it simply provides an open forum for people to express their concerns about the international situation. quote
Rosie Vaughan

Organiser Rosie Vaughan said "'Voices on the Railings' is giving people the chance to express their views on Iraq in a lively and unusual way. The display is colourful and eye-catching, with hundreds of labels fluttering in the breeze. Many thought provoking messages have been posted - the idea has clearly caught people's imagination!"

People leaving messages
Leaving messages on the railings

Rosie also emphasizes the fact that "'Voices on the Railings' is neither specifically pro- or anti-war, it simply provides an open forum for people to express their concerns about the international situation. A wide spectrum of views are displayed on the labels, both for and against war; however the majority of messages express a desire for a peaceful solution. It gives a voice to people who feel their views are not being represented at higher levels."

In spite of Rosie's assurances, someone chose to pull down around 100 of the messages over the weekend of 22nd and 23rd March. "We're not sure if this was a random drunken act, or done on purpose by someone who misread it as a specifically anti-war protest, or sees it as being disloyal to the troops (though many labels indicate respect and support for them)," says Rosie, adding: "On the whole people have been very respectful of each other's views."

quote Iraqi people need to be freed quote

quote How dare Americans criticise other nations for harbouring terrorists after all these years of their aiding the IRA quote

quote Saddam is about to get what he deserves quote

quote Pity the people of Iraq. We don't like their leader and neither do they. Why punish them so cruelly for the misfortune of having a dictator? Haven't they suffered enough? quote

Some of the messages from 'Voices on the Railings'

'Voices on the Railings' is taking place on Great St Mary's Railings, on Kings Parade, from 8th March until 8th April. The idea was inspired by the website and is currently taking place in several towns and cities across the UK.

How do you feel about the possible war with Iraq? This is your chance to have your say and respond to others:

War with Iraq - your say!

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